Summer's heating up, and I'm not just talking about the weather. There are plenty of events that will shape the market in July.
Here are a few of the days that I plan to approach with eyes wide open this month.
JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM ) reports in two weeks, and most of the major investment bankers and financial giants will follow in the subsequent trading days.
There are some serious headwinds and tailwinds taking place here. A spike in IPOs is boosting underwriting opportunities, but a dearth of market trading activity has forced many key players into layoffs.
We'll have a good snapshot of the industry by the time all of the "too big to fail" players report this month, and it all begins on the 14th with JPMorgan Chase.
Long black robes and wizard wands aren't very fashionable summer attire, but you can't tell diehard J.K. Rowling fans what to wear when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 hits a multiplex near you.
A lot is riding on the final installment of the theatrical series. This will be the eighth Time Warner (NYSE: TWX ) movie, and the studio will continue to milk the franchise through retail disc, broadcast, and digital distribution in the future.
The wizardry flick should also cast a levitation spell on shares of IMAX (Nasdaq: IMAX ) . The super-sized cinematic platform has historically fared well with action-based blockbusters, and this highly anticipated release is bound to be a cinematic mainstay for weeks.
It's time for Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL ) fiscal third quarter report, but it doesn't feel right. For the first time in several summers, Apple doesn't have a new iPhone on the market.
There's also the matter of the Cupertino giant's stock. The shares are actually trading lower than they were three months ago. It's a bizarre scene for a market darling that routinely trounces Wall Street expectations.
The upside is that at least we can't say that Mr. Market is discounting yet another stellar quarter out of Apple.
Even if you don't own a piece of the content-delivery network or organic grocer, it pays to pay attention.
Akamai helps companies serve up web pages quickly and transfer media files securely. If Akamai is doing well, it usually is a fair indicator of an uptick in online activity in general.
Whole Foods is a premium supermarket operator. If same-store sales are on the rise -- as they have been over the past few quarters -- it's a great proxy for consumer spending in general.
Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO ) enters the tablet market with the Cius.
Expectations are understandably low. Everyone seems to be hopping on the tablet bandwagon, but success has been rare outside of the iPad. The Cius' price tag -- at a street price below $750 -- isn't going to make a dent with consumers, but Cisco is rightfully aiming at the corporate market here.
The Android-fueled tablet packs some impressive specs, and it will be fully integrated with Cisco's WebEx virtual meeting platform and its TelePresence videoconference offering.
It will still be hard for a retrenching Cisco to win the market's confidence, but you can't blame it for trying.
What will you be looking forward to this month? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.